Your chance to host a WOMMA webinar

March 31, 2010 at 10:44 am | Posted in News | Leave a Comment
Tags: social media, webinar, womma, word of mouth

WOM UK members are being offered a fantastic opportunity to host an international webinar to members and friends of WOMMA, our US counterpart.

WOMMA’s webinars are renowned for being practical and to the point, helping brands and marketers to understand the issues and challenges around WOM and social media from some of the world’s top practitioners. Recent speakers include Steve Rappaport, ARF Knowledge Solutions Director on ‘A Crash Course in Listening’ and Waggener Edstrom’s Editor in Chief, David Patto, on ‘The News Engine That Powers Your Social Media.’

WOMMA are looking for more international perspectives, so if you think you have something to contribute to the cross-Atlantic WOM community, email Julian with your details and an overview of what you’d like to cover. Paid up WOM UK members only please.

Like Minds: Let a thousand flowers bloom

March 29, 2010 at 10:42 am | Posted in Case studies, Events | 5 Comments
Tags: social media, word of mouth, drew ellis, scott gould, like minds, reach, spread

Clay Shirky’s famous description of how to survive in social media was aptly used by Scott Gould last Thursday as he explained Why Spreadability Beats Reach at the latest espresso briefing for WOM UK.

In a relaxed, interactive session over coffee and pastries, Scott shared exactly how he and fellow Like Minds founder Drew Ellis managed to create an enormously successful event – and a burgeoning network of top social practitioners – from scratch, in six months. Here he is, captured by one of our attendees, Lucy from Contagious:

By adopting an approach of strong leadership (including vision, passion and meaning) teamed with a purposeful abdication of control over how and where the Like Minds brand, content and conversations spread, Scott demonstrated the power of an approach based on guidance rather than governance, and personal relationship rather than public relations.

Scott used the case study of X-Factor versus Rage Against the Machine to demonstrate that reach doesn’t necessarily achieve the best results. He also emphasised the importance of working in teams rather than factories, showing that being adaptive, flexible and personal brings results as well as good will. Check out his deck below.

Any brand or marketer would love to achieve what Like Minds has in the past half year, so insights were relevant and inspiring. WOM UK is delighted to be part of the LM movement and the fact that we were thrown out of our venue for talking so long after the presentation is a pretty good indication of the quality conversation stimulated by the morning’s ideas.

The widespread agreement that diversity and eclecticism is the lifeblood of social media sent the gathered crowd out into the day with a renewed commitment to making more flowers bloom.

Many thanks to Porter Novelli for hosting.

March Espresso Briefing: Like Minds explain why Spreadability Beats Reach

March 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Posted in Events | 2 Comments
Tags: wom uk, social media event, drew ellis, scott gould, like minds, word of mouth event

Join us on Thursday 25th March, 8.30am, for some free breakfast, WOM food for thought and excellent networking opportunities.

One month on from their infamous Like Minds 2010 conference, which saw social experts such as Chris Brogan, John Bell and Olivier Blanchard discuss their vision of a people to people future for brands, co-founders Scott Gould and Drew Ellis take over our monthly WOM UK breakfast event to present the learnings and outcomes from the debates so far.

In their presentation, Scott and Drew will be looking at:

  • How spreadability is beating reach: The numbers behind Like Minds and how they have made Like Minds such a phenomenon in a very short space of time. The virtual attendance, the attention, all on a small budget that focuses on a spreadable message rather than direct reach.
  • How teams of people are beating factories of employees: The way that people-to-people means partnership rather than sponsorship, and how people are getting behind messages that bring shared benefit.

This will be an excellent opportunity both for Like Minds attendees to continue the discussions started back in March, and for those who couldn’t make it to get an overview of the insights from the event, and become part of the ongoing community of brands and practitioners interested in word of mouth and social approaches.

Like Minds is an organisation dedicated to Making Action Accessible. It was founded in 2009 amidst the boom of social media, where communication was drastically changing, and knowledge was overflowing – creating both the opportunity and the necessity for the organisation to act and turn our ideas into reality. Their mission is to create a platform where participants can join leading thinkers and doers in order to inspire one another and make those ideas happen, all on a level that is accessible both financially and structurally.

The event will last from 8.30-10.30am and be hosted at Porter Novelli, 31 St Petersburgh, Place, London W2 4LA. Places are free but you must pre-register with Julian to attend. We look forward to seeing some like minded folk there next week!

Social media self-regulation code proposed for the UK

March 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Ethics | 3 Comments
Tags: AA, ASA, CAP code, IAB UK, social media advertising, social media regulation, wom uk

As reported by IAB UK, “the advertising industry has come together to recommend an extension of the self-regulatory rules for non-broadcast media (known as the ‘CAP Code’)”.

The recommendation, driven by the Advertising Association (AA) suggests that the existing code, administered by the ASA, be extended from paid-for online space to cover advertisers’ own spaces as well as independent sites.

It’s a logical next move in the ‘ethics and transparency’ debate, and something that advertisers have long been calling out for. But it remains to be seen exactly what the code will cover, and how those regulations will be implemented, especially when entering the realm of independent consumer word of mouth.

It’s pretty clear that the code’s remit will cover blatant advertising and won’t try to tackle more subtle WOM engagement campaigns – but with the stated intention of ensuring that online all marketing activity will be ‘responsible, legal, honest and truthful’, there’s bound to be some grey areas and overlap.

For example, look at incentivisation by brands wanting to get people online to talk. Many people equate their activity in social media with chatting in the pub with friends, so any consciousness of their responsibilities to the code would require a big change in outlook. If you are handed free chocolate outside the tube, do you expect to have to tell your friends a disclaimer before raving about it in the office? Total brand transparency is essential in this space but peer to peer transparency is complex.

There are issues raised here that need thought and public discussion as much as rules, and we could certainly learn from some of the debate around the FTC Guidelines being instituted in the US.

What do you think? We’ll keep you updated as more details emerge…

What we can learn from Yelp’s WOM whitewashing debate

March 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Posted in Ethics | 1 Comment
Tags: Ethics, negative review, social media, the law, ugc, WOM, yelp

Coming hot on the heels of Tempero‘s eGuide UGC and the Law (which WOM UK contributed to and debated at the launch), the news that a veterinary practice in California is suing consumer review site Yelp for allegedly offering to hide a bad post for payment made us prick up our ears.

As reported by The Times, Greg Perrault of the Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital in Long Beach claims that he asked Yelp to take down a negative review posted 18 months before – outside the site’s 12-month relevancy guideline – and was in turn invited to advertise on the boards for $300 a year.

Of course, if this were true, it would represent some seriously unethical, as well as illegal, moderation of consumer conversation for financial gain. However, Yelp’s defence on their official blog is thorough and clear, and all the more believable because it emphasises the importance of trust for the company: people’s belief that the reviews they publish are legitimate and fairly regulated is what keeps businesses and punters invested in the site.

What we find particularly interesting is Dr Perrault’s failure to address the content of the negative post. He did not respond to the facts or fictions of that 18-month old moan, nor did he say that he was looking at how to improve the surgery’s service to prevent similar comments, or reach out to other customers in a more positive way.

Whatever the courts decide, this story reflects the panic that businesses feel when faced with negative conversation, and their inability to know how to handle it, apart from trying to get that often valuable WOM removed from the public domain.

If you want help in understanding how you can engage with disgruntled consumers in a rather more productive way – for them and for you – get in touch and we’ll introduce you to our raft of expert members and educational events touching on just these issues.

In the meantime, check out the eGuide to know where you stand legally in the UK with moderation of UGC.

View this document on Scribd

Blog at | Theme: Pool by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds.